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tv   Meet the Author  BBC News  April 9, 2017 7:45pm-8:01pm BST

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lead n—r vnw fmit n—r vnw mn ‘iiz taking a 5—point lead with just 12 minutes to go, but sustained pressure from wasps led to paul doranjones, pressure from wasps led to paul doran jones, who was pressure from wasps led to paul doranjones, who was on a one—week loa n doranjones, who was on a one—week loan from gloucester, scoring in overtime to level it at 30—30. that then meant a subsequent easy conversion which clinched victory. 32-30. what a conversion which clinched victory. 32—30. what a finish. wheelchair racer david weir won the paris marathon this morning, pulling clear with around five miles left, crossing the line in just under one and a half hours. he is expected to retire after the london marathon in two weeks. he is bidding for a seventh victory there. justin rose and sergio garcia are about to tee off in their final round at the masters. you can follow the final day's play from augusta on bbc two and radio five live. that is all from sportsday. plenty more sport on bbc news throughout the
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evening. coming up next, meet the author. we all know what it feels like to get lost in a book. in scarlett thomas‘s novel dragon's green she turns it into a story of magic and danger. a children's quest to make sense of a place turned upside down by a catastrophic event called worldquake. as a writer who has had great success with what is called literary fiction, she has had an experience that has changed her as much as any of her characters. welcome. so, what did you discover about writing and about your own writing when you brought magic into the equation? a lot, is the answer to
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earlier in my career i started writing about maths and then i moved on to physics and then botany and now magic! like so many classics of children's fiction you're stepping into another world, whether through a wardrobe or down a rabbit hole and in this case by going back to a book as the doorway to some different world, it is obviously something that energises you. and for me, this is part of the whole concept of magic. i think books are magic. i think lots of things are magic but books are definitely magic, and when you open the pages and there are black marks on a white sheet and they can transport you, they can really do almost anything, it is astonishing.
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you wrote somewhere in the course of describing your irritation with the categorisation of books and we shouldn't think of literary fiction and children's fiction as being separate things, you also said every children's story, every novel i think you said, is a political text. can you explain that? how long have you got? when you write children's fiction you have to make lots of decisions and especially in a non—realist setting and world building from scratch, so i had to decide, for example, in the other world where the characters go to there are a lovely big houses and groans and everything is a bit pg wodehouse, but how do you maintain that without servants and they kind of feudal situation which i don't believe is right for people to live in, so i immediately i have to if the character's
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brought breakfast only three, who does that and why? is she a servant? we discover more about how that world works. so you have two invent rules and therefore you —— so you have to invent rules and therefore you are saying things about how people live. when i studied politics years and years ago i discovered that politics happens in any situation with limited resources and you have to decide how to divide things up. it also happens at any fictional situation in which the author has made up fundamental things. how difficult did you find it to think about the right rules for your world? it required the same leaps of imagination. it is plotting a world rather than just a story with any world, so at times it was easy and other times it took me months to come up with solutions, and some of them i am still working on!
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one of the things i am fascinated by is in the early sections particularly you are talking about life in school in many passages, and the sort of rules and the way that school works, and you clearly have an affection for the kind of discipline, almost, that would get people into learning. there is a very distinct kind of schoolroom that you described. can you tell us how that came about because i am intrigued? i think it is partly a kind of nostalgia. not political nostalgia but an aesthetic nostalgia, not so much for what my school was like but what books were like when i was at school. we are going back quite far the mean teacher who actually has your best interests at heart, that is an archetype that we find in
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a lot of areas. it is a reassuring archetype to you? i think so because i suppose i believe no one is really even the baddies in the books are all from the world of publishing, by the way. funny, that. they are all a bit too clever for their own good. they do have bad aims in mind. other than that i try to be compassionate towards my character, so the mean old teacher wants the children to do well, and she is hilarious. and the heroine of the book, what is your feeling about is there a lot of you in her? there is. and the idea of the girl who sets off on a quest
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and difficult things happen and she has to keep going, that was important to me when i was writing the book, i had been ill and it was a struggle to get better, and i found reading about other female heroes really inspiring. you have been quite open about the fact that you had for want of a better word we will call it a nervous breakdown, and this is a book that followed that, so it is inevitable that you must feel quite strongly about some of the ideas about individualism and some other things that come out in this book, that it is notjust a chance collision of atoms, it is something that sprang from your own experience? absolutely. there were some scenes that i wrote that as i wrote them they kind of made me better, so when they go through the forest and she confronts her demons, something in me sort of settled. a straightforward metaphorical thing. and ifind especially with children's fiction and magical fiction that you are operating in that more archetypal sort of realm where you are dealing with these deep things, and i am completely
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better nowjust in case anybody is wondering. in some ways you want it to deal with them and it strikes me that you have found this form that came to you quite naturally, although there is a lot of hard work and problems to be solved, but the idea of doing it, that once you picked it up you never wanted to let it go, it allowed you that freedom. absolutely, and something about the voice that i was able to access for this book. different from any of sort of, or more a development of. i think each book is a development of the one that came before and this definitely develops the voice from the seed collectors, which is an omniscient, free direct style. is it always useful to have some characters who are always seen from the outside?
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you don't know what's going on inside their heads. you can have that rule and when you're writing, rules and restrictions are good because they make you work hard and imaginatively to solve problems, but on the other hand, i think i do go everywhere you're suddenly with a villain or a minor character or are you zoom out to this strange narrator who isn't quite god but is next to god. for me, i have found a voice that i didn't let myself use for a long time, or ijust didn't try it out and now i have found that it is amazing. i don't think it is necessarily an easy thing to do, but for me it was kind of coming home to my true voice. scarlett thomas, author of dragon's green and many more to come, thank you. thank you.
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good evening. sitting in my garden earlier, i could definitely smell bar—b-q smells wafting around the village. i'm sure many of you have enjoyed the blue skies and sunshine we have seen across the majority of the country. cloud further west and thick enough for some rain in the far north—west. look at the temperatures — 25 celsius in the sun, more disappointing in the north—west of england, and behind that, noticeably cooler, with top temperature of eight celsius. that front is moving to the south, not producing much rain, but a band of cloud through the night. it will introduce a different feel to the weather, a fresher feel. introduce a different feel to the weather, a fresherfeel. one introduce a different feel to the weather, a fresher feel. one showers will fall as snow on top of the
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hills and mountains in the far north. a noticeable difference tomorrow. by the middle of the afternoon, the wins will come from the north—west, continuing to feed inafew the north—west, continuing to feed in a few showers for much scotland. the highest temperatures will be 10 celsius. similar in northern ireland, though showers should be few and far between. some fair weather cloud, but not a bad day in terms of dry, sunny weather. look at the difference with the feel of things. 1a celsius will be the highest value in the south—east. 10 degrees down on yesterday. with those carreras guys by day, through the night, that means temperatures will fall away fairly swiftly. in rural spots, a touch of light cross. —— with those eau claire skies by day. more weather fronts toppling further
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south, but a weak affair, so no significant rain in the story through this week. it does mean that on wednesday, with those weather fronts, we could see a fair amount of cloud. a good deal of dry weather, and a similar story on thursday. as for the easter weekend, the northerly wind stays with us. a good deal of dry weather, just a few showers. but the nights will be chilly. this is bbc news. i'm martine croxall. the headlines at 8pm: a british man, chris bevington, is named as one of the four people who died in the stockholm lorry attack. huge crowds have attended a commemoration for the victims near the attack site in the swedish capital. the so—called islamic state group says it was behind two separate bomb attacks targeting coptic churches in egypt. the attacks killed dozens. greater manchester police say
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they dealt with 31 calls relating to the drug "spice" injust 2a hours yesterday. the payday loan firm wonga says hundreds of thousands of its customers have had their accounts hacked. also in the next hour: the grand national winner, one for arthur, returns to his stables in kinross. the eight—year—old was welcomed back by fans after winning — the first scottish success in the race since 1979. and the travel show team visit thailand and meet the people
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